It is with great pleasure that we announce the winner of the Venice Design Biennial Residency.
Our residency program serves as a unique opportunity to bring an innovative designer in dialogue with the city and the tradition of Venetian makers. Through this initiative, an international designer has the chance to interact with renowned local artisans and traditional craftsmen. As the aim of the program, she/he will develop a new original project with them.
We believe this is a tribute to the spirit of collaboration, sharing and dialogue that characterises Venetian design and architecture. We are also confident it will bring a breath of fresh air to the contemporary Venice design scene and spark new inspirations to the city.
The winner of this year’s edition of the program is the object and spatial designer Tadeas Podracky, an emerging talent from Prague. The local makers involved in the project are the unique mirror makers Ongaro e Fuga (from Murano) and one of the last European artisanal goldbeaters, Mario Berta Battiloro. After Tadeas' stay in Venice, the project will unfold in the following months to create some new stunning pieces.
Tadeas Podracky, born in 1989 in the Czech Republic, is a designer whose cutting-edge approach impressed us as well as design enthusiasts from all over the world. Thanks to his fine arts academic training, he is able to give his objects and installations a radical quality. Before bringing him to Venice, the city he looks up to for its glass and mirrors’ tradition, design made him travel the globe. Through many projects and other residencies (from Finland, all over Europe to the US and China) his knowledge of manufacturing techniques got richer and richer. Interrogating different traditions became the leitmotiv of his extensive production. His creative research consists in bringing the focus to the core of classic concepts through a deconstrucion process that gives them a contemporary context. This search of new possibilities for today’s life is pursued through large art installations and objects, but also products such as tabletops, lighting or furniture.
His work has been exhibited worldwide in main institutions and fairs such as Chamber gallery New York, Design Miami Basel, FOG San Francisco, Maison et Objet Paris, Mint Gallery London, Mudac Museum Lausanne, Designblok Prague, Salone del Mobile Milano, London Design Festival.
He’s the winner of several international awards, including Czech Grand Design Awards “Discovery of the Year” (2014) and AD Design Award Germany “Vintage Reloaded” (2015).
Ongaro e Fuga is an outstanding Venetian company based in Murano. The name Fuga is linked to the local tradition of glass - and particularly mirrors - since the 14th century. Angelo Fuga created his first Venetian mirror in 1852. Not too many generations later, in 1954 Franco Fuga and his wife Tullia Ongaro founded Ongaro e Fuga Company. Nowadays, the creative flair of Giuliano, the founders’ son, keeps the tradition alive. Past techniques, materials and processing methods are shielded by Giuliano creating a bridge towards the future, thanks to partnerships with international artists, architects and designers.
Mario Berta Battiloro is another unique company operating in Venice since 1969. It is renowned internationally for having the only traditional goldbeater in Europe, master craftsman Marino Menegazzo.
In the historic artisan laboratory in the heart of Cannaregio neighbourhood, gold, silver and other precious metals are transformed into ultra-slim leaves, suitable for applications in multiple fields, such as arts, food, cosmetics, furnishings.
Thanks to small hammers and specific historical techniques, he transforms gold bars into impalpable 24k gold leaves. You can see his golden sheets wrapped around some of the most famous golden sculptures in the world, such as the Archangel Gabriel on the San Marco Campanile, the statue of the Madonnina on the top of the Dome in Milan, but also in the Vatican and the Kremlin.
We hope the result of this promising program will inspire our next Venice Design Biennial. In the meantime, we are thrilled to have Tadeas in his cosy new studio/apartment in Venice for a month!
Last, but not least: we want to thank all the 50+ talented designers who reached out and sent us their applications.